Monday, June 13, 2011


By Mahtab Bashir

With the theme "Children in hazardous work" for the World Day against Child Labour on June 12 (Sunday), Pakistan like other countries of the world is observing this day to mark the adoption of the landmark International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour.

While celebrating progress made since t
he Convention's adoption in 1999, the World Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the millions of children involved in hazardous work.

This problem affects a wide variety of jobs and industries and is widespread in both developed and developing nations. The internation
al community has identified hazardous work as among the worst forms of child labour it has targeted for eradication by 2016. The World Day Against Child Labour is intended to focus global attention on this practice and call for urgent action to combat it.

While the world is observing International Day Against Child Labour, Noreen Bibi is all set to donate her only minor son Ali on the same day.

Someone rightly classified Pakistani society saying, “Society comprises two classes: those who have more food than appetite, and those who have more appetite than food.” Mothers have wishful thinking to pass on her kids hunger free life, quality education, and shelter for their protection to name few. Hunger is one inheritance no mother wants to give her child, yet millions of poor mothers have this for generations in Pakistan.

This downtrodden woman named Noreen Bibi who is living her life with four children, an unemployed husband at Taramri Chowk, Rawalpindi is struggling to feed her 6 members family on a meager income working as a servant in domestic houses works.

Noreen with the utter mortification announced that she wants to donate her son Ali aged 2 years to childless families or to those who have sympathy for children. Criticizing the prevalent Islamic values in the ‘land of Pure’, she said if poverty is my destination, I will request Christians, Ahmadi’s and other non-Muslims to nurture my beloved kid for the sake of his better future, forever as to her “Poverty is the mother of crime” but she has no other options available.

Noreen has three daughters and a son named Ali who is 2 years old. Her husband Khalid Malik was an employee in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in Rawalpindi was forced to quit his job few years back and since than he is earning nothing.

Talking to this scribe Noreen said, “I am living in Rawalpindi in a rented one room on Rs 3000/ month rent. I am suffering with various diseases asthma, high blood pressure, heart ailment to name few. My husband some day gets earning through daily labour work and another day he gets nothing. Many a times I went to government s
chools to seek admission for my kids but they refused to admit them on the grounds that children are not familiar to ABC of education,” Noreen said mournfully.

Noreen while talking to Daily Times, handed over a letter she wrote to Khadim-e-Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and federal government to help her as she is in dire straights. “Those who are living in palaces and luxury houses could not be aware what I am going through at the moment. They do not know what is poverty, who is poor, and what is hopelessness. I am forced to beg alms, ‘Kairat’, ‘Zakaat’, and ‘Chanda’ to nurture my innocent children. On the other hand, government officials of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and of those working for educational policies are giving opportunities to their own kids but unfortunately, my kids have not seen the premises of any school. Food, cloth, shelter are not visible in my dreams even and nurturing of my children are impossible in such circumstances,” she wrote in her letter.

In the backdrop of “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit”, Noreen quoted a recent incident of her son saying that in Islamic country and society, when my son was died because of poverty, and at the time of his burial, I was forced to give money for 4 feet grave of my kid when I do not have a penny,” she said wiping her tears.

Noreen said family disaster occurred as soon as my husband was fired illegally from a government department and now there is no hope for tomorrow. She requested philanthropists at large to contact her on her cell No. 03365011070.

ISLAMABAD: Arshad Mehmood, Executive Director (ED), Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) said that economic disparity is on alarming stage and we read such news on a daily basis when woman commits suicide, sell her children, or engaged them in bonded labour due to poverty. “Government should focus on these issues and streamline its organizations BISP, or Bait-ul-Maal in particular to look after these sort of cases and do something concrete for the welfare of these poor,” Mehmood said. He said it is the fundamental responsibility of government to give basic rights to all individuals. He said these children are also used on political grounds as well.

ISLAMABAD: Capt (r) Javed Ahmed, incharge Edhi Foundation (EF) in Islamabad said that selling or donating beloved children due to sheer poverty is now a common phenomenon in Pakistan. “Government should work seriously to deal such issues like unemployment, poverty, education and health but unfortunately none of these issues are being tackled seriously. Edhi Foundation is committed to give shelter to homeless people who are considered people of lesser God. Ahmed said Noreen should contact us in this regard.

ISLAMABAD: Talking to Daily Times Najmud Din, Vice Chairman (VC), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that this is gruesome situation and Noreen is not the only case, there are millions of such cases exist not only in Pakistan but all over the world due to poverty. “I must say government should move forward to resolve these issues of poverty, education and health as they are the fundamental rights of every individual and responsibility of state. There are few government run organizations working to resolve these issues and they must play their part. There were millions of IDP’s living in various places due to natural calamities who are facing the same plight and people of Pakistan themselves helped them out whereas government organizations remained in slumber mode,” Najam said adding government should give every individual the right of food, education, health and shelter.

1 comment:

charity donation said...

You really know your stuff... Keep up the good work!